conducted a review of process evaluations for community participation in large-scale community interventions. These studies furthered understanding of how community members participate in community initiatives with a primary focus on improving program performance. However, there were methodological gaps in these evaluations for understanding the nature of the group dynamics or how the partnership functioned. Recent evaluations of partnership functioning have employed a variety of qualitative methods such as open-ended, semistructured interviews, focus groups, ethnographic observations, and a review of documents providing contextual information about the group dynamics of the partnership, sometimes in combination with quantitative surveys.12–14
Relevant to our experience, Schulz and colleagues7
conducted several mixed-methods evaluations of CBPR partnership functioning based on a conceptual framework for understanding and assessing the effectiveness of CBPR partnership process. The evaluation examined adherence to principles of CBPR, characteristics of effective groups or organizations, and the group members’ perceptions of group effectiveness.7
Data were collected using a quantitative survey, qualitative key informant interviews, and ethnographic observations. Community members were active participants in the evaluation design and, consistent with participatory evaluation practice, results were used formatively to inform partnership planning. Several important factors were identified that impacted the effectiveness of community–academic partnerships: Large organizations tended to have more consistent participants, whereas members from smaller groups tended to have greater turnover, less ownership, and less empowerment.
The partnership evaluation presented here drew on the work of Schulz and Israel and collegaues8
to evaluate the functioning of a community–academic partnership created to decrease hepatitis B health disparities among Asian Americans in New York City. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine community–academic partnership functioning in the Asian-American community.
The B Free CEED: National Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Hepatitis B Disparities is one of 18 Centers of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities funded in 2007 under the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the U.S. (REACH U.S.) program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. B Free CEED is a national resource and expert center committed to eliminating hepatitis B disparities in API communities and develops, evaluates, and disseminates evidence-based practices through three core activities: (1) Raising awareness about hepatitis B among all stakeholders, (2) identifying evidence-based best practices for prevention and treatment of hepatitis B, and (3) ensuring sustainability and reach of evidence-based activities and practices through capacity building, dissemination of evidence-based strategies and practices, and advocacy for policy- and systems-level efforts in support of best practices to eliminate hepatitis B-related disparities affecting APIs.
B Free CEED is guided by a core local partnership consisting of the facilitating agency, the New York University (NYU) Center for the Study of Asian American Health, and the NYU Department of Pediatrics Infectious Disease, and key community partners, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC), and Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS). Each partner receives a significant subcontract to support their key contribution and participation in the partnership. This core partnership is informed by a larger coalition of local and national community, health, governmental, social service, and advocacy organization members.